Archive for Thursday, June 17, 2004

District continues discussion of high school construction bills

June 17, 2004

The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education met with its attorney in private June 10 after revisiting the issue of payments to general contractor Manning Prosser Wilbert, which worked on the new Eudora High School building.
Contractors went over general budget requirements by about $115,000 when building the high school. Tom Manning of Manning Prosser Wilbert told the Board additional costs were associated with getting the building open in August.
Manning said the new school building had a longer completion schedule when the budget was created. To complete the project on the new timeline, Wilbert said the company added an assistant superintendent at a cost of about $97,000.
It was his job to make sure trade contractors were getting their jobs done on time.
"To complete the schedule like this is costly," Wilbert said. "It's just what you have to do to keep up.'"
Manning said the company also mistakenly told the district it was OK budget-wise on reimbursables when it wasn't. And that's why Manning said the contractors weren't asking USD 491 for about $70,000 in charges for extra work hours needed to get the job done on time, as well as for incidentals like dumpster fees and storage trailers.
"To me, that was better than leaving the district with a bad reputation," Manning said.
Before the Board and Superintendent Marty Kobza metwith Board attorney John Immel in executive session, Board President Kenny Massey said he'd like to hear from Andy Prosser. Although is no longer with Manning Prosser Wilbert, Prosser was the liaison between the contractor and the district.
Both parties expressed overall satisfaction with the project and the working relationship.
"We've got a great building; we've got a great project," Massey said.
Manning agreed.
"We've got a good project here -- we got it done on time," he said.
Kobza said the Board was waiting to hear from Eudora Mayor Ron Conner about a time to meet jointly with the Eudora City Council regarding a dispute over electrical hook-up fees for the new high school. The district had expected fees to be waived, as the district says is customary, but the city maintains the district owes the cost, about $90,000.

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